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Ptosis

Ptosis Repair Q&A

What is ptosis?

Ptosis (pronounced "toe-sis") is a condition where your upper eyelids start drooping due to a weakening of the muscles you use to open your eyelids.

Ptosis is often a result of changes that occur with aging. It can also develop after an eyelid injury or when the muscle doesn't develop properly before birth (congenital ptosis).

Certain neurological conditions can occasionally cause ptosis, which your provider must rule out before considering surgical repair.

What is ptosis repair?

Ptosis repair involves using surgical techniques to raise the drooping part of your eyelid. There are several approaches to performing ptosis repair:

Internal ptosis repair

Internal ptosis repair is suitable for mild ptosis. It involves tightening the eyelid muscles via an incision on the inside of your eyelid. Internal ptosis repair doesn't leave any visible scar on the eyelid skin itself.

External ptosis repair

External ptosis repair can correct moderate cases of ptosis. During the procedure, your provider makes an incision in your skin to access and adjust the primary muscle that elevates your eyelid.

External ptosis repair requires patient cooperation. Your provider wakes you midway through the procedure so that they can make adjustments to the height of your eyelid.

Frontalis suspension

For severe ptosis where your eyelid muscles have minimal function, your provider can perform frontalis suspension surgery. This involves making a sling that connects your forehead muscles to your eyelids.

What happens when I undergo ptosis repair?

Ptosis repair surgery is usually an outpatient procedure requiring IV (intravenous) sedation and a local anesthetic injection at the surgical site. Ptosis repair takes approximately half an hour, and you can go home the same day.

With an internal ptosis repair, there's no visible scar. However, if your provider has to take an external approach, they hide the incision in the natural eyelid crease. You may need to have an upper eyelid blepharoplasty at the same time as your ptosis repair surgery.

Bruising and swelling are typical following eyelid surgery. You should stay home to recover for about a week after ptosis repair, avoid heavy exertion, and not use any makeup while recovering.

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